this guy evidently hired to work for AD
Just don't. I know it's here. That doesn't mean you have to read it. Every play found worthy has a video clip associated with it.
|OSU in a base set; Michigan gets tricky by not running zone left on the first play of the game. It's a straight go route and it's well covered and it's badly underthrown and to the inside and it is not, in fact, all that clever. (IN, 0, protection 2/2) Good coverage everywhere, btw.|
|Neither is the second-and-ten draw particularly clever, and Ohio State has a safety rolled up so he's nearly in the box at the snap, and he's moving forward, and just... well. I think it's kind of fitting the Carr-Debord era ended with these two shocking playcalls Michigan had clearly set OSU up for all season â€“ we run left first play always lol â€“ and they just didn't work. Fish. Anyway, this probably shouldn't work but Mitchell (+1) gets a great, crushing block on his guy and drives him downfield and Laurinaitis gets caught up in wash he shouldn't and Hart has a seam.|
|Or a zag or something. This doesn't actually have a circle but it's a slant-out, and it's open for the first down. Henne overthrows it. (IN, 1, protection 1/1)|
|Drive Notes: Punt, 0-0, 10 min 4th Q. This will quickly become the story of the day: Henne is just broken. Well. There are competing stories, the other being "AAARGH SCHILLING".|
|Wide open out that should probably go for a first, looped out all Clausen-like, though, and kept down. Henne obviously has no arm strength. (CA-, 3, protection 1/1)|
|We miss this play recapping Michigan's season.|
|Butler kept in to block on the waggle side, so Henne has plenty of time. He fires well high of a covered McLaurin, but it appeared everyone was completely covered and he had nowhere to go; the decision here was probably the best available: try to make a near-impossible throw to a well-covered guy. This is sad. (IN, 0, protection 1/1)|
|M49||2||10||Ace Twins||Run||9||Hart||Inside Zone|
|Very well blocked. Long crushes the nearside DT; Kraus gets his head across the weakside DT, and Boren, executing a zone double w/ Long, helps kick out the Dt then crushes Freeman. Hart bursts into the secondary, spinning through Freeman for near first-down yardage. (+1 for all! They're not tracked, but who cares!)|
|O42||3||1||I-Form Big||Pass||5||Arrington||Long handoff|
|Arrington's brought in motion and, as is often the case in these situations, the corner is forced to loop around his defense to follow and is not able to press at the LOS. This gets Arrington the room to catch this ball and make first-down yardage. I like this call and how aware it is of little football fobiles. (CA, 3)|
|We come to this play late, but just in time to see it happen. Kraus(+1) is doubling a DT with Mitchell as two OSU LBs fire into the hole; Moundros chops Freeman as Kraus does a fantastic job to make a late peel and pick off Laurnaitis, allowing Hart a cutback lane behind him and a significant gain.|
|A number of short zone stretch routes designed to pick up the first down by providing Henne easy targets; Butler comes open and Henne hits him. Ver' nice pickup from Hart on Gholston on a protection slide. (CA, 3 protection 1/1)|
|O25||1||10||I-Form Twins||Run||12||Hart||Inside Zone|
|I was informed by a couple people that the block previously termed "handoff" in a bit of made-up jargon was actually a "scoop" block; this is a scoop blocked play. Boren fires off in to the DT and hands him off to Kraus; Kraus then pounds the guy backwards. Mitchell(+1) gets a nice downfield cut on Freeman and once Hart pops through the scoop-created hole he's got room to motor.|
|O13||1||10||I-Form Twins||Run||-1||Hart||Zone left|
|OSU blitzes right into this with perfect timing; Freeman into the backfield unblocked, forcing a cutback. Hart slips and falls; if he hadn't there was the possibility to pick up a few yards.|
|Gholston completely destroys Schilling(-3). Gholston then sacks. No chance for Henne, who would have had a shot at Arrington on a post for a TD otherwise. (PR, 0, protection 0/3)|
|O20||3||17||Shotgun 3-wide||Pass||5||Butler||TE Out|
|Pretty bad decision here spurred by an OSU blitz. It's picked up and there's man cover all over the field. Henne takes the dumpoff that gets Michigan very little. Tenuously CA, but suspicious. (CA-, 3, protection 3/3)|
|Drive Notes: FG, 3-0, 1 min 1st Q. Goodbye, scoring.|
|M18||1||10||Ace 3-Wide||Run||-1||Hart||Zone counter|
|Difficult to tell what happens here, but Butler pulls around a la those plays against Oregon, but Hart does not cut back, instead running into Gholston, who's beaten Schillng at the line. Failure there was irrelevant though, as Freeman was unblocked due to the TE pull. Misread by Hart, IMO.|
|Hart offset and Butler out wide; pass all the way. Henne throws an out to Tacopants that's nearly intercepted. It's at this point his ain't-rightness is an obvious factor. (IN, 0, protection 1/1)|
|Long(-1) not infallible! OSU sends the two guys on the right side of the line on a late developing stunt that gets the DT in through a gap between Long and Boren. Falling, the DT sacks Henne, though he had time to survey the field for a bit previous. (TA, 0, protection 1/2)|
|Drive Notes: Punt, 3-0, 14 min 2nd Q.|
|M20||1||10||I-Form Big||Run||3||Hart||Zone left|
|OSU's DT shoots past Boren(-1); Hart manages to move past him. Mitchell's lost his block on the ba ckside, otherwise Hart might have a hole on the interior. As it is he's forced to run up Long's back a nd get what he can.|
|A late cut to the play because we're focused on the band. Anger! Hard to tell what happens as a result, but one of the OSU DTs has dove forward and taken out a couple of Michigan OL. Freeman is unblocked, and Hart gets nowhere.|
|This might have been an out or something. As it is, it's a comeback that floats out to Manningham. It's short; Manningham does a good job to dig it out. (CA-, 2, protection 2/2)|
|M34||1||10||Ace||Run||-10 (pen)||Hart||Zone left|
|I don't know what Hart's thinking here, as the Buckeye LB is clearly set up outside of Butler here and there's a potential lane to cut up in. He takes it outside, where Butler(-1) duly holds his guy, still doesn't block him very well. Washington comes up for the TFL.|
|Hey, guess who's not fooled even a little bit by this? Those guys. Freeman bolts into the backfield unblocked.|
|Thrown well upfield and glances off Manningham's diving hand. (IN, 0, protection 1/1)|
|Schilling(-2) owned by Gholston. Henne rolls out and throws it away. (PR, 0, protection 0/2)|
|Drive Notes: Punt, 3-7, 7 min 2nd Q.|
|M21||1||10||I-Form Twins||Run||2||Hart||FB Zone counter|
|We shoot the FB to the backside DE, so this is sort of a counter. Problem: eight guys in the box; Mitchell is blown back by the DT here, allowing Laurinaitis in unblocked; the eighth guy in the box comes through the weakside hole. Hart has nowhere to go.|
|Hart lined up at WR but motions in; M takes an out to Manningham. No zip on these. (CA-, 3, protection 1/1)|
|Gholston owns Schilling(-2); Henne hit as he throws. (PR, 0, protection 0/2)|
|Drive Notes: Punt, 3-7, 3 min 2nd Q. Zoltan murders a punt.|
|Stop route right in Manningham's hands is dropped, though it was going for five at most as someone was shooting out into the flat. (CA, 3, protection 1/1)|
|Completed for a decent gain, but again looped out and little YAC opportunity. We're also avoiding the middle of the field like whoah. (CA, 3, protection 2/2)|
|O45||3||5||Shotgun 3-wide||Pass||Inc||Manningham||Skinny post|
|Henne's best throw of the day so far, a skinny post that's a little behind Manningham but for good reason, as it needs to fit in a place in the zone. Eminently catchable all the same; Manningham drops it. (DO, 2, protection 2/2)|
|Drive Notes: Punt, 3-7, 2 min 2nd Q. A truly killer drop there, and a truly killer missed opportunity going into the half.|
|Thrown late, giving Jenkins an opportunity to break on it, and sailed. (IN, 0, protection 2/2)|
|Good protection; Henne pumps once then throws it to no one in particular. (TA, 0, protection 2/2)|
|Checkdown; OSU has it well covered and there's no YAC. (CA, 3, protection 2/2)|
|Drive Notes: Missed FG (48), 3-7, EOH.|
|Kraus(-2) gets driven back into the path of the FB, who piles into him; Hart soon follows. Result: loss.|
|Freeman is all over this, actually batting it down like a DB. We used to be good at these, right? (CA, 0)|
|Thrown wide, well into the sideline. No chance for Arrington. Well covered, FWIW. (IN, 0, protection 2/2)|
|Drive Notes: Punt, 3-7, 14 min 3rd Q. Well, that's an inspiring way to start the second half. Wells goes for a touchdown on the next play from scrimmage and Michigan is looking at a two-score deficit.|
|The multiple-stops we run with some frequency. Henne comes off Arrington and eventually finds Butler for a moderate gain. Good protection. (CA, 3, protection 2/2)|
|M27||2||2||Ace 3-Wide||Run||-1||Hart||Zone left|
|Excellently timed corner blitz gets Jenkins in unblocked and turns this play into no gain. It's like they have some idea what we'll run. Without the blitz this is meh but likely enough for the first down.|
|Completely overthrown. Hello, Tacopants. (IN, 0, protection 1/1)|
|Drive Notes: Punt, 3-14, 12 min 3rd Q.|
|Standard TE dumpoff that looks open for a nice gain; OSU closes quickly. (CA, 3)|
|M23||2||5||I-Form Twins||Run||-3||Hart||Inside Zone|
|Must be some miscommunication, because Mitchell doubles down on Gholston as Kraus moves to the second level, leaving a DT wholly unblocked; he engulfs Hart.|
|Woo! Tacopants! Not going for more than two yards even if completed. (IN, 0, protection 2/2)|
|Drive Notes: Punt, 3-14, 6 min 3rd Q. Next drive is Mallett's.|
|We're watching Henne trot off the field as the play snaps, and so miss the privelige of watching Carson Butler (probably) whiff badly. Hart snowed under after no gain.|
|Good protection; Mallett provides a throw with actual velocity, but it's behind Arrington, forcing him to the ground to catch this ball and removing any YAC possibilities. (CA-, 2, protection 2/2)|
|M28||3||2||I-Form Big||Run||6||Hart||Zone right|
|OSU slants right tat the snap and attempts to shoot a linebacker between Gholston and a blitzing Jenkins, but Helmuth manages to get enough of Jenkins, Gholston's slant takes him out of the play, and Butler actually gets a good block. There's a hole, and Michigan gets the first down.|
|Well, sort of. Jenkins is all over Arrington here, drawing an obvious PI... except that the ball is ten yards past the pair as it looks like Mallett's throwing a flag and Arrington's running an out. Probably should have been uncatchable, though you might have gotten Jenkins for holding anyway.|
|M49||1||10||I-Form||Run||-8 (pen)||Hart||Zone left|
|So Michigan's actually got something resembling a drive started, Hart finds a crease and goes for eight on first down, and what brings it back? If you said "Carson Butler holding penalty," give yourself a pat on the back. But a small one: this trivia is strictly $200 Jeopardy! stuff.|
|Gholston destroys Long(-2) this time and sacks Mallett. Michigan's run the "everyone stop" routes again, which OSU has covered well, and Mallett's hesitation ends poorly. (PR, 0, protection 0/2)|
|Hey, Mallett, if we wanted our QB to overthrow his receiver by yards we'd have Henne in. Mmmm. Bitter. (IN, 0, protection 2/2)|
|Arrington's beaten Washington downfield here and actually has a shot at a catch and run for the first down; Mallett throws it well behind him. (IN, 0, protection 2/2)|
|Drive Notes: Punt, 3-14, 1 min 3rd Q. Henne returns.|
|A bit of a variant here with the TEs staying in to block the weakside DE. Henne has all day to throw and tries for Manningham deep; well underthrown. (IN, 1, protection 2/2)|
|Mark Moundros 1) doesn't line up on the LOS out at WR and 2) completely whiffs his block on Washington. Result: loss.|
|Oh, I'd forgotten about this one. Henne believes he's doing a check, lifting his leg then approaching the center to bark out an audible; the center snaps the ball into his chin. Fumble.|
|Drive Notes: Punt, 3-14, 13 min 4th Q.|
|Similar setup to the last waggle bomb; this time an OSU DB takes a flagrant PI.|
|M45||1||10||I-Form Twins||Run||-1||Hart||Zone left|
|Vijay's infamous screenshot play.|
|And, of course, when Henne actually finds an open receiver downfield and hits him the guy drops it. (CA+, 2, protection 2/2)|
|An attempted dumpoff, as Henne has sat and surveyed but now things being to collapse. Well behind Arrington, not going for the first anyway. (IN, 0, protection 2/2)|
|Drive Notes: AAAAAAAAAARGH AAAAAAARGH AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAARGH AAAAAAAAAAARHG|
|Eight minutes left in the game, two score deficit, we still have a fullback around. We run play action; Henne drops to throw deep; Gholston owns Schilling(-2) and clubs Henne to the ground. (PR, 0, protection 0/2)|
|Accurate; OSU playing off. (CA, 3, protection 2/2)|
|Gholston crushes Schilling(-3), knocking him over, and pressures Henne. Henne nearly throws an interception as a result. (BR, 0, protection 0/3)|
|Drive Notes: AAAAAAAAAARGH AAAAAAARGH AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAARGH AAAAAAAAAAARHG. With 6 minutes left in a two-score game and Michigan punting, this charting bullshit is over.|
Let's get this over with.
Despite missing a drive, Henne set a new UFR record for INs; collectively Michigan QBs piled up 14 between them. Applying our standard Metric of Suck -- remove screens, add CA + DO, put in a ratio with IN + BR + TA -- yields 12 good results and 14 poor ones, a 46% success rate. This sucks butt, but not quite as much as Mallett's Wisconsin game; Henne's 2005 Wisconsin game remains his low point.
Of course, there's one obvious reason this happened: Henne's separated shoulder. He was obviously broken and it's hard to blame him for that performance.
That guy has got to be on roids.
Protection: 40/55. Schilling -12, Long -3.
Awful, and every minus received was because of Gholston.
Ye observe balls flying ten yards over your head!
Basically irrelevant, though the two opportunities Michigan receivers had to make big catches were dropped.
What does it mean for Florida?
If Henne is not healthy we have no chance. If he playing at his apex we have a shot. Our running game is uncreative and full of fail and, like everything Mike Debord does, makes babies cry. We should use our killer wideouts and attack the Florida secondary, the Gators' weak point, but we might have to do so with the burned out husk of Henne or Mallett's suck festival.
So, right, the game was on my hard drive... the external one that I left in Ann Arbor. I have re-downloaded and will get crackin', but bump back everything a day if you please.
Merry Christmas. I'm out until after the holiday. Enjoy the following gifts:
- MVictors is putting together various "Michigan Memorabilia Vaults".
See you after Christmas.
Update: Not so fast! Via Varsity Blue: Fred Jackson has been re-hired (woo McGuffie!) and was told that two more assistants may be retained. Steve Stripling was put forth in Chengelis' article yesterday; Campbell and Loeffler would seem to be the other candidates to stay.
WVU safeties coach Bruce Tall recruited [OH WR DJ] Woods, but a team source said Sunday Rodriguez wanted Tall on his staff at Michigan.
"Michigan is a very serious option now," Woods said. "I committed to West Virginia because of the coaching staff, but I started thinking about Michigan when Coach Rod called me and told me he was taking everyone with him."
And one on Mike Barwis, the S&C guy we're also giddy about:
"I think it would be huge for Michigan," said Beilein, whose father, John, coached WVU's men's basketball team for five seasons before moving to Michigan in April.
"I didn't get to see football too much when I was there and I didn't interact with them as much as I did with Barwis, but I know he'd be a great addition if it happens for every sport and not just football. He gets involved and gets his guys working around the clock."
12/22 - 12/26: Nonstop 'Sheed Jingle Bells on repeat:
12/27 & 12/28: Ohio State UFR. Merry Christmas.
12/29: (Ideally) Orson-style VEQ.
12/30: Citrus Preview.
May be some wiggle in here, but the four things above I promise by the New Year.
ANN ARBOR -- Incoming Michigan football coach Rich Rodriguez has fired all nine current assistant coaches.
There is a possibility defensive line coach Steve Stripling may be rehired.
Rodriguez, who was on campus Wednesday and Thursday to meet with football operations personnel and observe bowl practices, sat down with the coaches one by one on Thursday and to give each the news.
Wow. This is not entirely surprising, since Rodriguez said he would be bringing not only his spread offense from West Virginia but his 3-3-5 defense, which is an "odd stack" and therefore an odd duck the current staff is unfamiliar with. I kind of expected a few holdovers for recruiting continuity.
About that recruiting continuity: a common thing for recruits to say is "I'm still committed, but I'd like to see what happens with coach X." Well, Coach X is going to be somewhere else next year. Might have a decommit or two now; with Fred Jackson gone the McGuffie warning klaxons are going full-bore.
This should also dispel any conspiracy theories about Rodriguez being forced to keep so and so because, well, obviously. He's the man, man. And since everyone's getting paid this year if they don't latch on elsewhere there's not much to mourn. It'll be interesting to see where the discarded coaches end up, as it'll be an acid test of their attractiveness to the coaching community. Ron English, rumored to be under consideration as UW's DC, seems likely to land on his feet. Certain others... not so much.
A question: was this blog useful at all during the coaching search?
The traffic numbers indicate that it was at least interesting, but in the end the stuff on this blog couldn't have been more wrong. There was a ten minute window during which
- MGoBlog had a post in which it noted the WVU message boards had done a sudden 180, and
- said 180 had not reached the mainstream media.
If you managed to visit the blog in this brief window you had accurate insight into Michigan's next coach you could not have gotten elsewhere. The cost was a nonstop avalanche of stuff that induced panic, made Bill Martin a sailboat pariah, and made everyone depressed for the better part of a month.
Then, bam: Rodriguez! Don't we all look foolish. Most especially me.
This blog has always been pretty gung-ho on the information available on the internet. With proper safeguards -- multiple independent-seeming reports, basically, and hopefully a couple of them from people bearing track records -- there is stuff out there that can be gleaned that cannot be gleaned otherwise, at at a remarkably high accuracy level. I still believe this.
Just not about coaching searches.
Things the internet said over the past month:
- Ferentz has not only been offered but accepted the job (multiply sourced!)
- Miles told his team he was accepting the Michigan job.
- Rodriguez was staying at WVU.
And it could have been worse: during the Schiano Era a good source indicated that Schiano had accepted the job. I was spared a difficult decision because I was rocking a fake bass until ridiculously late at night and by the time I arose in the morning, the Schiano Era was over.
The moral of the story: coaching searches are crazy. And, like Bill Martin, I acted a n00b for good sections. The first and clearest error on both our parts: Kirk Ferentz. From there things were uneven, but Martin gets to point to Rich Rodriguez and all I get to point to is a post that says "no Rich Rodriguez!"
So... yeah. The internet's did about as well during all this as we thought Michigan was doing. Our (er... my) only consolation is that ESPN did about as well as we did. Oh, and that we hired Rich Freakin' Rodriguez.
As a commenter said in the aftermath "now I can stop reading this goddamn blog." Amen: now I can stop writing it. It's been sort of fun, but I welcome the opportunity to never do this again. Back to the tables and charts. But first, a recap of the madness. (Warning: occasional F-bomb.)
Wither Martin? In the aftermath of the Sailboat Disaster, I wrote:
Michigan's chances at landing Miles are now much weaker than they were a week ago, and it's because Martin blew the most important decision in Michigan athletics since 1969. Because he was on a damn boat too busy to return a phone call.
He has a chance to make good with an excellent hire; anything short of that and he should be run out of town on a rail.
Mission accomplished, and the "how" of it doesn't matter. Even if your faith in his ability to conduct a coaching search is shaken, Martin's old and isn't going to be around for another in either revenue (read: madness-inducing) sport. His record since the Amaker hire is impressive: getting the program on sound financial footing in the aftermath of the disastrous Goss era, retaining Maloney in the face of actual SEC offers, embarking on a radical and needed stadium makeover, and raiding West Virginia for everything that's not nailed down.
Now, do I think that this was headed in a very bad direction before Mary Sue Coleman got heavily involved? Yes. Was Martin caught flat-footed and unprepared? Yes. Did he luck out by stumbling across what appears to be a poisoned relationship and an athletic director who allowed personal feelings to interfere with having a kick-ass football team? Yes.
Given all the crazy stuff that went down over the past month, would I put much behind these opinions? Not really. MGoBlog remains a results-based charting service. Bill Martin: I'm sorry.
A completely speculative and unconfirmed timeline of events.
This is just what I think happened based on everything that's been sent to me and appeared in the press and would logically lead to the things we have had confirmed in the MSM.
1. Carr pushes Ferentz. This was probably happening during the season to some extent, though Carr was busy coaching the team. Given the way the season played out it had to be immediately apparent that someone on the current staff was a no-go. Carr surveys the available coaches and concludes Ferentz is his guy and pushes Martin to pursue things. With Miles facing down a potential national title game, he's off the table.
Is there an offer at this point? Obviously, this depends on who you listen to. I get the feeling many of these conversations go "we could hypothetically offer you $2 million and a hypothetical pony"; "I would hypothetically need a salary that matches my current salary, plus the pony." So plausible deniability is maintained. The Schiano stuff provides an exemplar:
Schiano called the team to the Hale Center at 7 a.m. and told them he "still had work to do" at Rutgers. Schiano looked physically exhausted and said "this was a hard decision," according to a member of the football staff who was in the meeting.
The member of the football staff requested anonymity because of the private nature of the team meeting, but said Schiano looked "tired, beaten up and physically exhausted." He said the Michigan job was Schiano's if he wanted it, but the job was never officially offered.
No offer from Michigan == "tired, beaten up and physically exhausted"? Equals a team meeting to dismiss said rumors? No, probably not.
I think Michigan offered Ferentz the job but the terms were such that he was very unlikely to accept, or they had talks that implied to Ferentz that the job was his if he wanted it, much like Schiano did. I know people close to the Iowa staff thought Ferentz had an offer on the table, and through channels are really unlikely to be an agent's ploy.
Ferentz turns it down, whatever it is, or Michigan can't meet his demands or something. In any case, talks break down.
2. Les Miles is a done deal. It's a done deal, baby! With Ferentz out and LSU suddenly out of the national championship, speculation turns to Miles. Michigan gets permission to contact. Done deal! LSU says "okay, coach the bowl"! Done deal! Four different guys say the LSU players have been told! Done deal! Some people say it's not a done deal, but MORE people say it is! Done deal! Herbstreit reports Miles and Tenuta to Michigan! DONE DEAL!!! Miles has press conference! DONE--
3. Les Miles is still on the table! H
ey, his presser was kind of weird and left room for semantic wiggling. Maybe he's just putting it off until after the --
"I will be LSU's head coach next year. Absolutely."
4. Brady Hoke... well, that's cute. Hoke interviews. Nobody thinks this is anything but a courtesy.
5. Come Sail Away. In the aftermath, we try to figure out what happened with Miles. First theory: Carr put the kibosh on it. Completely impossible to believe counter-theory: Bill Martin was on a boat and couldn't be reached as LSU put on its power play. Ha-ha-ha, crazy internet with the crazy thing--
Miles had no idea if Michigan really wanted him.
So Bass [Miles' agent] decided to ask.
He said he called Martin's cell phone on Friday and left a message. He just wanted to know where Miles stood.
Then, when he didn't hear back, the agent said he called Martin again.
"The (LSU) deal was so good that we couldn't just wait," Bass said via phone Tuesday. "I didn't know if we were one of the candidates in the pool at that time. There was just no communication."
Where was Martin? One source places him in Florida, at the Ocean Reef Club in Key Largo.
Wherever he was, he didn't call back.
6. He's back! He's not. Ferentz briefly re-emerges, then fades.
7. Ha, ha, Brady Hoke. Dienhart claims Hoke is the frontrunner. He is laughed upon.
8. Schia-no. We're now about a week past the Miles kerfuffle, a week full of recriminations as the warring pro- and anti-Miles camps take their spat into the local papers. I've obviously lost my mind and would chew off Bill Martin or Lloyd Carr's face if I thought it would bring Miles to Michigan. Big donors are reportedly very pissed off. And the only persons even mentioned over the past week are Hoke and Ferentz, neither of whom seems plausible.
It's at this point I think Coleman steps in and Michigan's search starts making sense, two weeks after Carr steps down. Michigan offers Schiano the job, reportedly for the same amount Miami offered the year before, right after a fortuitously timed Profile In Heroism and gets turned down. More recriminations.
9. Sean Payton? No.
11. Seriously, Brady Hoke? Along with the Miles news comes buzz that Hoke is actually getting pushed by anti-Miles forces. A Profile In Cronyism is deployed to display just how bad an idea this is. Morale is low.
13. GROBE! The next day sees Jim Grobe pick up internet momentum, and though by this point internet momentum is worth about as much as the Great White Fail's schematic advantage Grobe is still the perfect platform to launch yet another broadside at this apparently botched search. At this point face-consumption possibilities have expanded to friends, my brother, and most players not named "Mike Hart".
14. Radio silence. Things go dark and there are no plausible candidates about. Fan hopes seem to focus on non-BCS head coaches and NFL coordinators. Two completely implausible names come forward: Lane Kiffin and KC Keeler.
15. Rodriguez. TSN breaks that Michigan is meeting with Rich Rodriguez in Toledo. ("Why Toledo," you ask? Easy: closest Chick-Fil-A to Ann Arbor.) Everyone immediately dismisses this as ludicrously implausible, but all of a sudden the thing has legs. I start stalking the posts of WVU insiders who were right on during the Beilein search. It could happen! It could happen!
Wha... wha... ? No. Really?
The internet responds! Much of it is stupid.
I love the internet, especially in times of trouble for opponents. And this, my friends, is a time of trouble for Michigan opponents. Ask anyone who isn't facing down the spectre regular six-touchdown buttwhippings*, like Florida fans or Bruce Feldman...
If I'm a Michigan fan, I'm ecstatic knowing the Wolverines have just landed Rich Rodriguez. I'd rather have him over any of the guys who had been linked to UM job.
...or Dan Shanoff...
Coach Rod represents the absolute best-case scenario for Michigan fans -- the absolute best coach available.
...or the cavalcade of swoon linked the past few days. They will all tell you the obvious thing: hiring a guy who's gone to BCS games two of the last three years, won his conference four of the last five years, and has gone 32-6 the past three years is a pretty good idea.
HORRIBLE hire for Michigan, HORRIBLE hire for WV... Absolute GREAT hire for the rest of the big 10. UM should start wearing purple and black. They will be the new Northwestern. One great year followed by a ton of sub 500 years. This is a GREAT day to hate Michigan
A fellow Spartan plays Reasonable Cop, disagreeing like so:
I don't think RR will bring glory back to UM, but I'm not drunk enough on kool-aide to think he'll take them any further down than 4th place in the conference
Black Shoe Diaries is moderately negative...
As far as Michigan goes, I think they will regret this decision in a few years. He has a history of being an opportunist. While at West Virginia he strung along secret negotiations with Alabama and was even rumored to have an agreement in principle. But he decided to stay in West Virginia anyway, but his wandering eye turned off a lot of the West Virginia faithful. Now it's reasonable to assume that Rodriguez won't be looking at other college head coaching jobs. He's at Michigan now. There aren't many other more attractive jobs out there that would warrant another move. But what if he has some success and the NFL comes calling? Is he committed to Michigan for life? Or is he going to be persuaded to listen to every offer that comes along? ...
What happens if Rodriguez starts ignoring cherished time-honored traditions? What happens if he fails speak of Bo Schembechler and Fielding Yost as if they were saints? What happens when he loses to Ohio State and says "Win some. Lose some" in his post game press conference?
While the first paragraph may be something of a concern -- he's certainly more likely to bolt than Les Miles would be -- Michigan is a terminal job in college football and NFL teams are unlikely to leap at an opportunity to hire a guy who relies so heavily on running quarterbacks unless Michigan just owns the opposition, and... uh... okay. I'm willing to take that change. As for the rest of it: what happens if Rodriguez slaps himself in a press conference after losing to Illinois? I agree that if it turns out Michigan has hired a lunatic, it will be bad for the program. It's not something to fret about until we hear he's slapped Tyrelle Pryor.
But it's the BSD commenters who crack me up:
RichRod had a good thing going at WVU, and now he's leaving that behind for the Michigan microscope? Sounds like a bad idea to me. Didn't WVU bend over backwards for him too with facilities upgrades to keep him there last offseason? Had RichRod already emotionally taken the scUM job when his 'Neers lost to Pitt? Interesting indeed.
Leaving a good thing for the big-time too early, sound familiar Chucky Weis?
Indeed, a Michigan program that hasn't fired a coach for on-field performance matters in 40 years is truly a roiling pressure-cooker of a situation. And truly, seven years as a head coach at a top 25 program is not enough of an apprenticeship period. And a proven college head coach is the exact equivalent of hiring a morbidly obese sociopath who's never so much as picked up a whistle as a head coach.
Ohio State fans are generally dismissive (Eleven Warriors does call it a "good hire"), but there were, by my count, exactly two coaches Michigan could hire that would create even the slightest blip on OSU's radar: Urban Meyer and Jim Tressel. Neither was thought to be available.
The Nation seems split between knocking down Rodriguez' accomplishments and playing up the "Mallett has no legs" issue...
Ferentz would have been a much better choice. Why Michigan chose a coach that specializes in a scheme thats completely incompatible with their current personnel is beyond me.
... and saying "crap":
Michigan has outdone all ND coach searches (basketball and football) since November 1986.
It's not all batty out there, kids. Boiled Sports:
I don't know if Michigan will be great next season...but they will soon. That dude can coach. ...
I even bought a WVU hat because of my like for Rodriguez; and I've never disliked UM...so I'm happy that the Wolverines got a good guy. I'm sad that he'll be kicking Purdue's ass regularly, but it's a good hire none-the-less.
Rich Rodriguez is a much better hire than Les Miles would've been. The Michigan fans can continue to bitch all season long about the sailing loving Bill Martin, but there is no one else out there better for the Maize 'n Blue than this hire. Ann Arbor is going to be intimidating once again.
He pwn3d the Big East, winning 4 of the last 5 titles a
nd 3 coach of the year awards. His teams run the spread option better than just about anyone. In other words, this ain't your father's Michigan offense anymore, and Florida (and, increasingly, Illinois) has taught us all the basic math of Wacko Ninja Offense + Top-Notch Talent = Carnage.
*(Ohio State fans excepted, of course, as they are not actually staring said prospect down.)
"This was an unexpected situation, but given the fact that K'Len's family has moved to Mississippi during the summer we fully understand the choice K'Len had to make for himself," coach John Beilein said Wednesday in a statement. "We will continue to offer any support that he will need now and in the future."
This is probably not so good, since Morris seemed to buy into Beilein's system when he arrived and might have developed into a contributor down the road; with '08 recruiting virtually over no suitable replacement is likely to arrive until '09.
Late today; sorry. Amuse yourself with Rodriguez:
Right, if you were panicking about the WVU boards erupting in a mess of "RR may return!!!," you can stop panicking:
A West Virginia University athletics spokesman says Rich Rodriguez's resignation as football coach is effective at midnight Tuesday instead of Jan. 3.
WVU football spokesman Mike Montoro confirmed the change late Tuesday but said he did not know why the effective date was moved forward.
If you weren't, good job.